So lets talk about withdrawal for just a moment, I can tell you from experience that it is by far one of the worst feelings in the world and not only because of the physical symptoms but the whole ride is pure hell. Lets start at 16 hours after your last shot of heroin, if it was of high quality you should be feeling the beginnings of withdrawal. At this point , the physical part is bearable but the mental part is severe. You know that sickness is coming and your brain is going crazy, your trying to think of every possible way to stop it. The impending pain is almost worse then the actual sickness and its really bad when you’re in a jail cell and you know you can’t get to an opiate! At 24 hours you’re in full withdrawal, you’re eyes water, your muscles cramp, nausea and diarrhea set in everything that can hurt does, you’re irritable , shaking and vomiting. There’s no sleep and no escape from it, I heard one girl say its like having a thousand bugs on me and a thousand snakes in me, and this is the beginning these feelings will intensify over the next 48 hours till you feel like you’re losing your mind. Depending on how much you use dictates how long this last but most improve in about five days with insomnia sticking around for a few weeks
Now the normal person may ask, why would you return to the drug after going through all that? The truth is, that’s addiction and it is a disease, an insidious disease where the addict, without treatment will return to over and over for reasons he doesn’t understand. For the sake of argument lets say he kicked cold turkey and did a thirty day inpatient program. Now they say ok go home , get a sponsor, make your meetings , work the steps and get better. He goes out the door with the best of intensions but his”friend”picks him up and and tells him, ” man you did great, just don’t do it everyday and by the way I have some really good shit” his addict brain goes right to work and he starts justifying his actions and diminishing his addiction. ” yes I let it get out of control but if I don’t use three days in a row ill be fine” or ” I’ve been good I deserve to get high” and my all time favorite ” well I’ll get high today but tomorrow I’m back on track” these are the lies we tell ourselves and this is how junkies overdose. They try to do the same amount they did before going to detox and their tolerance is down or they mix it with alcohol or benzos which is by far the quickest way to overdose.
So it’s not a bad idea to detox with Methadone or Suboxone for the opiate addicted even if he doesn’t have years of addiction in his background . It’s just safer and a more stable introduction to sobriety, to those who say that you are trading one addiction for another certainly have a point but don’t you think a slow taper from addiction is better then an overdose? Again this is just my opinion but the numbers are overwhelming but first we need to remove the stigma of methadone . Many who take methadone don’t go to meetings because the traditional 12 steppers are so quick to pass judgement on them. They will tell you in no uncertain terms ” you’re not really clean” but yet they are supposed to be there helping others and leading an altruistic lifestyle but I guess that only applies if your doing things the way they do them or the way they tell you to do them. Doesn’t sound altruistic or spiritual when you look at it on paper now does it?
Please don’t hit me with ” this is a program of abstinence ” or that the literature says this or that. I’ve read the literature and worked the steps and they are both guides to lead an alcoholic/addict to a spiritual awakening by altruistic living coupled with continued self evaluation. The program is the addicted helping the addicted and that’s the key, that’s the magic and that’s God at work. If we continue to ostracize those who recover using medicine we do a great injustice to them and stifle our spiritual growth in the process. We must do more then admit we are powerless over our addiction and that our lives are unmanageable. We must admit that there’s more then one way to recover and that there’s no one answer to dealing with the addict. Our stories are similar and yes that’s the common ground we all stand on and the ties that bind should be greater then those that would tear us apart but tolerance ,understanding and acceptance shouldn’t be words reserved for those who agree with us it should be across the board for all!
I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel or rewrite the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous or the basic text of narcotics anonymous , I just want the people in those great organizations to be a little more open-minded. While I recognize that we all got to the rooms because of our common problem our roads there are vastly different. Lets stay there with a continued goal to lead a productive life helping one another and searching our soul to reach out to others even if someone doesnt recover the same way you do. We can choose our own God but not our own method of recovery, that seems ridiculous to me but that’s my opinion. I guess you have to look inside yourself, you have read the research you have read my opinion but ultimately it comes down to you, will you open your mind and agree there’s more then one way to recover or is total abstinence the only way? Are you standing on spiritual principles with that mindset? Search yourself because I’m sure you’ll agree that continued evaluation is crucial to recovery.
I’ve found that the best place to start is with the beginning, I mean, I love those movies that start with the ending and then go back to show how they ended up there, but we’re not going to do that with this book. I hope to entertain you along the way but the reality is that this book is intended for informational purposes more so then for a long leisurely read. Lets start by telling you who I am, as you can see I’m Freddie Jay or at least that’s the name I write under, the real one is too long and we in the rooms cherish our anonymity . I had a twenty five year addiction to heroin and an even longer relationship with lots of other drugs. My first drunk was somewhere around 9or 10 years old and while it was completely unintentional , I seemed to like the effects more then I should have. My parents had left me at home by myself, they weren’t great parents to say the least but they really dropped the ball on that day. I had a cold and had stayed home from school, my parents didn’t go to their jobs , my dad was a dope dealer so he worked from home,in a manner of speaking, but they went somewhere. Anyway , being the great parents they were they gave me some NyQuil before leaving to alleviate my cold symptoms . They left and the NyQuil had an immediate effect, I don’t know if you have ever read the back label of NyQuil but that stuff is like 40proof or something. To a kid who already had the disease lying dormant inside of him, I loved the feeling the alcohol gave me. My young addict logic went to work immediately, if one capful made me feel better, well then , certainly five capfuls would make me completely better or atleast I’d feel five times better! So when my parents found me crashed out on the floor a couple of hours later, my father realized I was drunk on NyQuil and had a great laugh.
That didn’t start me on the real thing, that would come when I was like 13 but I will call it my first drunk just because I can clearly see that even then I had an addicted way of thinking. My complete story will be out later this year with my book called ” A Junkie’s Nightmare, Coming Clean”,Look for it in December . However I will tell you some more just to qualify myself. My first joint of marijuana was at 13 years old, I went to see a Ted Nugent concert at the Baltimore Civic Center as it was known back then in 1981, with two older guys from my neighborhood. I smoked weed and drank whiskey for the first time that night, I also met a little rock and roll chick who gave me head while The Motor City Madman belted out Wango Tango. I fell in love that night, not with the rock and roll chick and not even with the weed or whiskey but with the whole lifestyle! Sex,Drugs,Rock&Roll was all I wanted , all I needed and all I would pursue! I took to wearing more black that Johnny Cash and my uniform became jeans and a concert tshirt.
My mother had cancer and my father sold her pain pills, they were powerful pills called dilaudid a brand name of hydromorphone a narcotic of the opioid family. These little pills went for as much as sixty dollars each back in the eighties. The pills could be crushed up and broke down in water making them a favorite for heroin addicts who liked to inject them to get the immediate effect. I found out about the pills and used them with my older brother, again that’s another story but it was my first time injecting drugs and I loved it. I would shoot Dilaudid ,cocaine , methamphetamine (crank) and Heroin before I was twenty years old. Heroin &cocaine commonly called speedballs was my favorite. It would take a few overdoses, five major incarcerations and twenty five years of pure hell before I would finally check into detox in 2007 then go to rehab for six months to start on my road to recovery.
My first year of recovery was glorious but as my second year of being clean got under way I got hit with medical problems as well as bouts of depression. In pain both physically and mentally I would start taking prescription pills at about the time I was celebrating two years I would run out of my pain pills and fully relapse by injecting heroin. For three months I straddled the fence between making meetings and shooting dope! I finally came clean with my sponsor and friends and family. It was then that I’d be introduced to two little words that would cause me to question all I thought I knew about recovery, those two words were Replacement Therapy. This book isn’t a doctors view or anyones opinion other then my own. This is my opinion about the pros and cons of methadone maintenance and my thoughts about replacement therapy and its effects on a person who has dealt with addiction for most of his life. Come along as I share my experience , strength and hope.
Happy Friday folks, we made it through another week. I’ve had an interesting week, I found some forums for self publishing and writers. There’s lots of information but its a bit intimidating, I’m afraid to speak sometime for fear that my inexperience will shine through. However I know everyone has thier first day at a new job or at school so I press on. You know the saying the best way to get wet is to dive in!! I’m getting really excited about finishing my book, I’m going to put it on kickstarter.com this weekend to see if I can get some help with funding but more importantly to generate some talk about it. I really hope my book is a success and if I get a letter from one person saying it touched them or helped them or gave them hope then ill consider it a huge success. Not all riches come in the form of dollars and cents , this I have learned the hard way. Yes it would be nice to have the money to write my second book at a nice leisurely pace but we will see, either way I’m not giving up. I will post the link here on Monday for the kickstarter thing I hope those that can help , will. Have a great weekend!
I learned so many things and rehab but a couple things were really life changing. I had a great counselor named Jim and this man is my friend to this day. He shared some very simple truths with me, to start I wasn’t crazy I was a drug addict living a crazy life but I was not mentally destroyed, I had a chance! Next he told me if I went through the pain, followed the rules and faced myself I’d never have to go through this kind of pain again, I had a chance! For so long I had been counted out, my family had given up, the cops just knew they were gonna find me dead, the prisons were always open to me if I was fortunate enough not to die in my addiction. I had left prison a few months before I went to rehab and the guard said ” we will keep your cell ready for when you come back to check your mail” yes he’s was a clever little fellow but my point is everyone had given up on me and rightfully so. I mean I gave them no reason to believe I iwas ever going to do anything different. I didnt know how to do anything different but here was this man telling me I had a chance, I could see he was shooting straight and I believed he cared about me , so a funny thing happened I started to believe in me I worked hard to impress this man and he constantly patted me on the back and I got better. A week turned into a month, a month turned into a year now I’m looking back at 2007. There’s been bumps along the way but my life is so much better, I have my family I’m a trusted member of the community and yes I’m going to say it , I’m one hell of a dad! Maybe someone needs you to believe in them one more time, I know you’re tired, I know how many times you’ve been lied to but this time may be the one time that they get better.
A man went to his optometrist and found out he had to have eye surgery, and while the surgery may help, there was a chance it could render him blind. While under the doctors discovered it was just a fungus that could be removed and the mans vision would return to 20/20. When he awoke and heard the news he exclaimed “this is the greatest day of my life”! A young lady went for a mammogram where a mass was discovered in her breast, the doctors would have to remove the breast. While under they found that what was supposed to be a tumor was a benign cyst, the young lady woke up and shouted with happiness “praise be to God!” Neither of these people had hit the lottery or were given a brand new car, no ,they were ecstatic that their parts were in working order. We take so many things for granted but if you are in decent health and have 20 bucks on you , you are among the most fortunate on this planet. I want to take this moment to thank God for all the things I take for granted on a daily basis, won’t you join me?